American Mercenary recent wrote regarding the loss of a formerly close Internet friend, or two.
As I’ve been musing about the subject of ‘friends’ he got my attention.
It seems I thought for some time that if one has a friend, one has that friend for life. The concept of ‘unfriending’ someone with whom you have a disagreement seemed a foreign concept. I held my friends close.
In my mind.
But, I was wrong in my belief. I needed to hold my friends, not in my mind, but in my heart.
Over the years, I’ve lost many friends, usually through attrition. Someone moves into a different social circle, or geographic region. Or changes jobs. And the contacts are broken. Stuff happens.
But it’s only been in recent years that I’ve begun to recognize my actions have taken their toll. Taking advantage, contacting them only when it was advantageous to me. Not holding up my half of the friendship. Not being a friend.
Essentially, being an a$$40le!
And this has cost me, dearly. At least three close friends in the past 15 years. And, this doesn’t even include the other losses. Like Mark Bell, who passed away suddenly. Or special friends – lovers.
I’ve atoned for my sins, but that’s not enough. I need to continue to be a friend to my friends. Lest I lose any more.
If you read this blog, you know I always ask you to tell your children and loved ones how you feel. Include your friends. Because you never know.
Learn from my errors – cherish your friends, now.
I did. In two ways.
FIRST (this is when I owned my house), I had homeowner’s insurance. My insurance guy (who is a good guy and is still my car insurance guy) made certain he knew about luxuries I owned – jewelry, precious metals, guns. He had me estimate a dollar figure, required no inventory or serial numbers, and set me up!
SECOND, after a burglary wherein they missed the lockbox of guns (!), I felt it appropriate to get something more substantial. I did. A Fort Knox safe. The damn thing weighed 750 pounds empty and took two of us and an appliance dolly to get it into my spare bedroom. (Thanks, AGAIN, Dave!) I thought to myself, “Hell, it’s over 800 pounds, NOBODY will be able to take it. AND, being a quality safe, no one will be able to penetrate it.”
I was correct on the second count. Wrong on the first.
A few years ago, around this time of year (hence, this memory flogger) a drunk driver jumped the kerb and knocked down my backyard chain-link fence, and struck the back wall of my house! The impact slid the whole rear block wall of the house about two feet!
Fortunately, no one was home. I was at my (then) girlfriend’s that weekend. Returning home Sunday night was quite an ordeal. But, my insurance guy set me up in a hotel, got the house secured, and hired contractors to essentially rebuild the entire rear of my home!
Part of this process was to have my stuff in that part of the house moved into storage. But the storage guys advised me they couldn’t do anything pertaining to the safe or guns. I figured “Hell, it’s over 800 pounds, NOBODY will be able to take it. AND, being a quality safe, no one will be able to penetrate it.”
Two weeks later, while I was ensconced at my insurance-paid-for-condo a mile North of my house, ‘someone’ broke off the contractor’s realty lock, keyed their way in, and took the whole damn safe!!
This was after trying to breach it, unsuccessfully. (Thank you Fort Knox!)
How did I know they were unsuccessful at a breach?- I found the combo dial and safe handle on the floor when I stopped by to check the mail.
Of course, the police were also unsuccessful at developing any suspects. They did say they checked out all the contractors and movers, to no avail.
So, I went to my insurance company. And found out (or was reminded) that while there was a rider covering my firearms, it capped at $5000. My safe contents was over $20,000! I had thought the safe would save the day, but circumstances aligned themselves to give the burglars ample opportunity to get my safe out.
And I was out $15 grand.
I looked at my NRA insurance. It was for a small sum at the time, and by the time I’d thought of it and got around to making a claim, the claim time had passed.
As NRA members, you have $2500 in firearms theft insurance – BUT YOU MUST REGISTER FOR IT! AND file your claim within one year.
I’m now a renter, and own two guns. You can bet I registered for my free NRA Insurance!
If you haven’t yet done so, do so, NOW. If you are not an NRA member, sign up and get free insurance!
This ArmsCare Firearms Insurance protects your valuable firearms and accessories from direct physical loss, damage, fire and theft. Plus, serial numbers are not required.
Coverage must be activated to take effect. Take a minute and activate your no-cost benefit today!
|AND there’s reasonable cost additional insurance if you own over $2500 in firearms!As I now have only two guns, it’s no cost to me!FTC – The NRA paid me nothing to say this. Nor did Fort nox. Now go away…
Murphy’s Law recently posted a fine piece about Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, her history of massive attempts to violate the rights of legal gun owners, and her mind set.
Politician with cancer smoked for 40 years, sues over asbestos
Distilled down, this is all about personal responsibility.
Now I have a number of health ‘issues’. Chronic conditions requiring regular monitoring by physicians and prescription medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar regulation and arthritic/neuropathic pain. My weight is not within the CDC guidelines. I consume too much fat, protein, carbohydrates and volume. Probably too much alcohol. Because of my ‘issues’, I get minimal exercise. And I’ve an aversion to tofu and most cooked vegetables. And don’t eat as much salad as I should.
Now, if I get more sick, or when I die, I’ve no expectations of suing beef, cheese, pork, egg, sugar, booze and bread manufacturers because it’s their fault! That’s asinine!
I’m certainly not the poster boy for always owning up for my errors-in-judgement, but I’m trying.
Murphy’s Law is right. Rep. McCarthy is the poster child for the ‘it’s their fault, they need to pay’ mindset.
I hope I never get THAT sick!
TThe Whited Sepulchre reminded us of The Wisdom of David Nolan – founder of the Libertarian Party.
How does one tell if one is truly a Libertarian (philosophically, not necessarily a card-carrying LP member!)
In David’s words, below:
As a founder of the Libertarian Party and editor-in-chief of California Liberty, I am often asked how to tell if someone is “really” a libertarian. There are probably as many different definitions of the word “libertarian” as there are people who claim the label. These range from overly broad (“anyone who calls himself a libertarian is one”) to impossibly doctrinaire (“only those who agree with every word in the party platform are truly annointed”).
My own definition is that in order to be considered a libertarian, at least in the political context, an individual must adhere without compromise to five key points. Ideally, of course, we’d all be in agreement on everything. But we’re not, and probably never will be. Debate is likely to continue indefinitely on such matters as abortion, foreign policy, and whether, when, and how various government programs can be discontinued or privatized. But as far as I’m concerned, if someone is sound on these five points, he/she is de facto a libertarian; if he fails on even one of the five, he isn’t.
What then, are the “indispensible five” — the points of no compromise?
YOU OWN YOURSELF
First and foremost, libertarians believe in the the principle of self-ownership. You own your own body and mind; no extermal power has the right to force you into the service of “society” or “mankind” or any other individual or group for any purpose, however noble. Slavery is wrong, period.
Because you own yourself, you are responsible for your own well-being. Others are not obligated to feed you, clothe you, or provide you with health care. Most of us choose to help one another voluntarily, for a variety of reasons — and that’s as it should be — but “forced compassion” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.
THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE
Self-ownership implies the right to self-defense. Libertarians yield to no one in their support for our right as individuals to keep and bear arms. We only wish that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution said “The right to self-defense being inalienable…” instead of that stuff about a “well-regulated militia”. Anyone who thinks that government — any government — has the right to disarm its citizens is NOT a libertarian!
NO “CRIMINAL POSSESSION” LAWS
In fact, libertarians believe that individuals have the right to own and use anything- gold, guns, marijuana, sexually explicit material- so long as they do not harm others through force or the threat of force. Laws criminalizing the simple possession of anything are tailor-made for police states; it is all too easy to plant a forbidden substance in someone’s home, car or pocket. Libertarians are as tough on crime- real crime- as anyone. But criminal possession laws are an affront to liberty, whatever the rhetoric used to defend them.
NO TAXES ON PRODUCTIVITY
In an ideal world, there would be no taxation. All services would be paid for on an as-used basis. But in a less-than-ideal world, some services will be force-financed for the foreseeable future. However, not all taxes are equally deleterious, and the worst form of taxation is a tax on productivity — i.e., an income tax — and no libertarian supports this type of taxation.
What kind of taxation is least harmful? This is a topic still open for debate. My own preference is for a single tax on land. Is this “the” libertarian position on taxes? No. But all libertarians oppose any form of income tax.
A SOUND MONEY SYSTEM
The fifth and final key test of anyone’s claim to being a libertarian is their support for an honest money system; i.e. one where the currency is backed by something of true value (usually gold or silver). Fiat money — money with no backing, whose acceptance is mandated by the State — is simply legalized counterfeiting and is one of the keys to expanding government power.
The five points enumerated here are not a complete, comprehensive prescription for freedom… but they would take us most of the way. A government which cannot conscript, confiscate, or counterfeit, and which imposes no criminal penalties for the mere possession and peaceful use of anything, is one that almost all libertarians would be comfortable with.
You notice you don’t see the word control in there, except perhaps the understood doctrine of self-control. Fascists, Communists, Statists, For-your-own-good-ists need not apply! No Nudgers, either!
They are a danger – take the guns away!
By Jackee Coe The Arizona Republic | azcentral.com Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:40 PM
A man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries early Sunday morning after a shooting broke out at a Glendale house party, authorities said.
Glendale police officers responded about 1:30 a.m. to a house near 51st and Olive avenues where they found a 27-year-old man who had been shot, Glendale Police Department spokeswoman Officer Tracey Breeden said. He was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital, where he remained Sunday afternoon.
Investigators determined an argument started between individuals at the party and the 27-year-old, and he was asked to leave, she said. The man left for a short time, then returned with a rifle and began firing off rounds outside the house.
The man pointed the rifle at partygoers and a 39-year-old partygoer pulled out a handgun and shot the 27 year old before police arrived, Breeden said. The shooter did not try to leave and waited for officers to arrive.
The shooter has been cooperative with investigators, she said. He was questioned and released by detectives.
“This is standard procedure under these type of circumstances,” Breeden said. “Information and evidence detectives have gathered leads them to believe the 27-year-old was not only firing his rifle, endangering partygoers, but also pointed the weapon at other partygoers, endangering them, prior to the 39-year-old displaying a weapon and shooting the 27-year-old.”
The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending, Breeden said.
That’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve seen a number of blog posts over the past week or so exclaiming ‘defacto’ firearms registration has been occurring in The United States for some time now.* This, in spite of numerous federal laws expressly prohibiting such actions.
Quelle surprise. Perhaps this post should have been yet another “I’m Shocked” post?
But, this meme won’t go away. More and more bloggers are picking up the registration story as a rallying cry.
But, the big question is what happens NEXT?
Do we, the injured legally-gun-owning-populous, take action? File lawsuits? Run to the gun-friendly press? Write to our gun-friendly congressman? Foment insurrection? Or just choose to break the law piecemeal, citizen by citizen, hoping ‘they’ will take no action against us?
In effect, whistling past the graveyard?
No need to answer me here. But you might consider what actions, if any, you will take when the police (or the military) come knock-knock-knockin’ at your door. To acquire your legally-owned property. By force.
Or NOT knocking.
*Vuurwapen Blog, The Captain’s Journal,
Monday, the Naval Yard shootings. Previously, Fort Hood. Too many school shootings.
It’s obvious ‘we’ (read the government) cannot protect everyone from everything. Death is implicit in Life. But setting up school children and military personnel and civilian contractors as clay pigeons to be destroyed at will by some loon is insane.
Or two loons. Or a flock. Regardless of their motive. Is beyond shameful.
It’s criminal. My solution?
Allow Enable appropriate adults to function in a security capacity at all schools, nationwide. Allow Enable all adults who may carry firearms to do so.
Afraid armed adults will suddenly become homicidal/suicidal, as they do in countries where that is allowed? Like Israel? No, wait! They not only have minimal occurrence of such events in Israel, terrorist attacks at schools in Israel are practically non existent! Because the teachers and staff are armed!
And what about soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, contractors? Do we still need to keep THEM disarmed while on base and on duty? They’re military for chrissake! Do you think Hasan or this latest clown would have had near the body count if their potential targets had returned fire?
We bloggers mostly hide behind our noms-de-blog while we preach incessantly about the individual’s rights to keep and bear arms. What about the teacher and the sailor? Or some schlub working on a military base. Don’t they have the same rights, even a duty to protect?
Ever ran a stop sign? Drove after ‘a few’? Did the warning signs stop you? Of course not. And there are no drugs or guns where that sign is displayed.
Stop staking our children and military out for the slaughter.
What do they do when there’s an ‘active shooter’ at a military base or a school? Call for people with guns to fix the problem.
The Art of Manliness does it AGAIN. This time with an essay about Integrity.
I’m convinced a significant percentage of our adult population never (or rarely) considers the moral and ethical implications of their words and actions. And we are the worse off because of this. Most moral compasses have the needle missing. And we’re passing this lackadaisical attitude to our children.
What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part I: Why Small Choices Count
It’s not too difficult to discuss this quality in a general way and offer advice on maintaining one’s integrity of the “just do it” variety. But a quick glance at the never-ending news headlines trumpeting the latest scandal and tale of corruption shows that that’s not always the most effective approach. While the foundation of integrity is having a firm moral code of right and wrong, it can also be enormously helpful, even crucial, to understand the psychological and environmental factors that can tempt us to stray from that code. What’s at the root of our decision to sometimes compromise our principles? What kinds of things lead us to be less honest and what kinds of things help us to be more upright? What are some practical ways we can check our temptations to be immoral or unethical? How can we strengthen not only our own integrity, but the integrity of society as well?
You should go and read the whole essay. And watch for the remaining three follows-up. Hell, you should be checking out TAOM on a regular basis, regardless!
Mike Vanderboegh of The Sipsey Street Irregulars and the USA TODAY actually agree on something!! (copied in it’s entirety – it’s THAT important. – Guffaw)
USA Today Exclusive: FBI allowed informants to commit 5,600 crimes
The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation’s top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.
The U.S. Justice Department ordered the FBI to begin tracking crimes by its informants more than a decade ago, after the agency admitted that its agents had allowed Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to operate a brutal crime ring in exchange for information about the Mafia. The FBI submits that tally to top Justice Department officials each year, but has never before made it public.
Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies. FBI officials have said in the past that permitting their informants — who are often criminals themselves — to break the law is an indispensable, if sometimes distasteful, part of investigating criminal organizations.
FIFTEEN CRIMES A DAY? And that doesn’t include the ATF and DEA, as reported earlier by USA Today: Crimes by ATF and DEA informants not tracked by feds.
Tell me again how federal “law enforcement” agencies actually enforce the law rather than carry out an agenda?
(The crummy part is I know folks, past and present, who did (do) their duty honorably, and obey(ed) the law. This kind of stuff makes them just as sick as it does me, even more so. Because it’s the bureaucrats that make the policy decisions. Think Fast & Furious. – Guffaw)
As one of the commenters said, distasteful?, how about illegal?
Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives gave me an interesting idea.
If you’re familiar with the television show Person of Interest, you know the theme is the government can pretty much watch and track everything everyone does, through the use of electronic records and the ever-increasing number of traffic, ATM, and ‘security’ cameras out there. Soon, we will become London. (If we haven’t, already!)
The show’s producers indicate the technology is already available, and is being used. This is not science fiction. The revelations regarding the NSA’s surveillance
capabilities abuses is only the tip of the iceberg.
Ry Jones (of the above blog) has taken things a bit further. He has installed a ‘dashcam’ facing out the rear of his vehicle! Fighting fire with fire, as it were.
Raging against the machine, via one’s own machine!
Imagine the next time he is pulled over for some imaginary infraction…
I like it.